Preparing the muscles and body for exercise can be vital at reducing injuries and increasing overall performance. During the warm up its good to start slowly and gradually increase, starting from the feet working your way up towards the knees, upper legs then hips and upper body.
Stretching before exercise
A recent study made of the benefits found that static stretching can increase injuries instead of reducing. The research found that the muscles can sometimes cool down to fast when static stretching is preformed in the warm up. The reason for this is when we stop and stretch our muscles our heart rate levels drop and muscles cool down. This stop and stretch will slow down the transport of blood around the body leaving less oxygen and generally cooling the muscles.
Below you will find a short video of dynamic stretching, in the video you can see the stretching and warming process of the muscles. I do this warm up before and after every session.
The best way to perform your cool down, and bring your body back to its normal state is to slowly lower the pace then by using a mixture of stretching techniques.
At the University of California researchers found that stretching after exercise was extremely beneficial , as the muscles are warm this makes it easier to lengthen each muscle, reducing soreness and risk of injury. Dynamic stretches are prefect for the warm up and cool down. After exercise stretches are a must, as you will develop more range of movement helping to trigger and activate more muscles